“So, that pebble of yours found something?” Pixie asked, perched on Big Blue’s shoulder.
“Yes, I think it has.” Holly said, smiling. “We’ve found another Mystery Disk.”
Mocchi started to dig. “I’ll find it first chi!”
However, it was Genki who uncovered the disk. It was sealed in a box, and was a strange yellow color.
“I wonder what it means?” Genki asked, staring at it.
“I’ve never seen one like it.” Janne said, twisting her features into a grimace. “And if you take my advice, abnormal disks bring trouble.”
“No way! It could hold the Phoenix!” Genki yelled.
“We could at least try it.” Holly smiled gently and took the disk.
“UNLOCK!!” Holly yelled, pushing down on the panel.
The lights swirled into a blinding pattern. They quickly dimmed, revealing a full grown Suezo standing on the platform. “Huh? What? Where? Eurydice!! You’re okay!! Look out world!! Sueki Suezo is back in the game!! How long have I been out?”
The team just stared at him in total bewilderment.
“Come on, don’t joke with me now. It hasn’t been more than a couple months, has it? A couple years?”
“A couple eons is more like it.” Suezo said.
“They’re all dead? Beth…and the others? Eurydice. You have to recognize me, don’t you?” Sueki was starting to cry.
“Who’s Eurydice?” Pixie asked.
“Come on!! YOU’RE EURYDICE!!!!” Sueki was crying in earnest know. “You… you don’t remember…You’re one of the ones who doesn’t remember…he doesn’t either.” He turned his eye on Janne and Metalgirl. “Scalpel. SpeedCircut. Please.”
They shook their heads no. “Janne. Metalgirl.”
Sueki just broke down and cried. “I’m the only one who remembers…” Genki jumped in quickly. “That’s not true. We’ve met a Monol who remembers everything about the ancient times.”
“MONOL! Overly serious guy, annoying habit of falling asleep in mid-conversation?”
“That would be the one we met.” Tiger said.
“Good. He was a friend of mine. And of Time Noise, that bastard, no-one knew why…” Sueki trailed off. “Time Noise asked me, Eurydice, when you…died, if it would be okay if he told me that someday, thousands of years in the future, you and Ice Rock would be together again, and happy. I told him it wouldn’t be alright. But it is.” He pulled his face into a smile. “Excuse me. I need some time to think.”
“And what the hell was that supposed to mean!?” A blushing Pixie yelled.
“Thinking about the good old days, Sueki? It’s good to see you again. I wondered when you’d show up.” A voice spoke in the darkness.
“Time Noise, you knew exactly when I’d show up again. That’s why you’re here. But its so nice to see you again. You bastard” Sueki replied sarcastically.
The figure emerged in a flash of blue light. “I thought you had forgiven me for that.”
“I’ve forgiven you for what you did to Ice Rock and Eurydice, but not the rest. YOU’RE A MANIPULATIVE COWARD WHO THINKS THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS!!! THE FACT REMAINS THAT YOU KILLED THEM!!” Sueki yelled.
“What else would justify the means of this world? I didn’t kill them, I didn’t stage that attack. Naga did. I didn’t pull that trigger. Eurydice did.”
“You saw it all ahead of time. You could have warned them.”
“Not without ruining the battle that must occur NOW if Moo is to be defeated. They had to be separated, at least for awhile…I can see all of it, you understand. They’re meant to be here as they are: in denial.” He chuckled and looked a Sueki. “You’re still in love with her, aren’t you.”
Sueki nodded his head sadly.
Time Noise continued. “She’s a different person now, to an extent. To an extent, she’s still the same.”
“Still playing the cryptic prophet, huh?”
He raised one eyebrow. “Are you going to tell them? About Eurydice, and Beth, and the others.?”
“Good.” Time Noise vanished with a flash of light.
“What do you want from us, Time Noise.” Sueki asked to the air. “Do we mean anything to you? Did we ever?”
Sueki hopped back to the group. “Look guys…I have to tell you a story. And you have to listen up. It starts…I don’t know when it starts…When Eurydice joined? When Beth got promoted? When Kawrea was founded…but that’s beside the point…The Ancient war was still going on…and most cities were nothing but ruined battlegrounds…
(Sueki narrates this chapter)
And then you came with those red mournful lips
And with you came the whole of the worlds tears
And all the trouble of her labouring ships
And all the trouble of her myriad years.
And now the sparrows warring in the eaves
The curd-pale moon, the white stars in the sky
And the loud chaunting of the unquiet leaves
Are shaken with earth’s old and weary cry
From “The Sorrow of Love” By William Butler Yeats
Kawrea was a beacon for everyone during those times. It was the largest genetic engineering facility on the continent, and it was one of the few nonmilitary facilities still operating. Let me re-literate that: “Few” is an overstatement. There were three known major non-military facilities still operating. And that’s Counting Kawrea. Everything else had been ravaged during the wars. Monsters and humans starved in the streets, and gangs ruled a lot of the cities. Kawrea was a little patch of heaven…but we couldn’t help everybody. We couldn’t help anybody.
A lot of monsters were created there…including the Phoenixes. But this is before any of that. It started…with a battle (Gods help me: I’m starting to sound like Monol). And that battle in itself was probably insignificant. But what was left behind afterward changed everything we had.
Eurydice. I still don’t know what to make of her. Scalpel was leaning over her, trying to stabilize her condition. Eurydice could have bleed to death that day. She was our enemy, our foe. If it wasn’t for Scalpel’s undying devotion to the Hippocratic oath, we probably would have left her there. One more baddie down for the count. But of course she wouldn’t let us do that. So we had to figure out what to do with a purebred pixie with a heart of steel and eyes of ice.
We were back at base before she woke up.
“So you won.” She said with a tired voice.
“Yeah, we did.”
“What do you want from me?”
“Trust me, we don’t want anything from you.” That was Beth. She ran the place in general, and the nanotech lab in particular. She had grown up in one of the worst ruins, but you never would have guessed it. She tended to hide her emotions (I’m starting to think that it’s a family trait).
“Than what the @&%# are you going to do with me? Am I a prisoner of war? Because if I’m not, I’d like to go home, thank you.” She stood up, still-raw wounds protesting the movement. And I don’t care what you say, Pixie, she looked just like you.
“You want to go back to Moo?” Beth asked, shocked.
“Yes. Now am I a prisoner?”
“Yes. You are. We can’t have you leading them back here.” Beth pulled out her pistol.
The Pixie didn’t say anything. She just stood there with an insolent look on her face.
“You can go anywhere you want within this center. You can’t leave. We can’t risk Moo finding this place. We could lose everything.”
“Heh. I am a prisoner.” She turned and left the room.
“What are we supposed to do with her.” I asked.
“Sueki, I just don’t know.” Beth said, sweatdropping, leaning against a console, jamming her unruly brown hair underneath her headband, trying to keep it out of her face.
“Let her stay, and let her go. A few more small steps on the way to victory. But you won’t be able to keep her here. An important part of her destiny lies elsewhere. Her loyalty may be small, but she’s never forgiven any harm done to her…or forgotten any good. By the way, her name is Eurydice.” Time Noise appeared in a flash of blue light.
“Time Noise. If it isn’t the Enigma. Care to tell us what the future will hold?” Beth asked, a little smirk playing around her lips.
Time Noise merely shook his head sadly. “I will never tell you what I know of the future. I swore that years ago. We are looking for a certain outcome here: the extermination of Moo. In order to achieve that: some will die. Some will suffer. But that will be the price of victory.”
“Oh, you’re not going to tell us so we can save ourselves from our impending doom. Sure, let us fry. You’re not even going to let us look for another way because…”
“Sueki! Knock it off!” Beth interjected, blushing.
“You have too much fun watching us suffer! Rare or not, you’re still a NAGA!!”
“Sueki. If I told you, you would destroy our only chance for victory in the long run. I’ve told of the future before. The results were worse than the disaster I was trying to avert, Sueki..” He pulled Beth to her feet. “How is your project going.”
“I wouldn’t call it a project, Noise.” Beth flushed. “It’s not important. Just an experiment”
“And if I were to tell you that, in the years to come, It will be of the utmost importance?” Time Noise said, holding her hand. He gave her hand a little squeeze and vanished.
“You know, given enough time I could really learn to hate that guy. Where did he come from anyway?” I remember asking her.
“I don’t know, he just showed up one day, like most everybody else here. I think it’s a rule. You can’t join Kawrea unless you have some kind of psychosis. “ Beth threw her head back and laughed, trying to cover the blush that had ran over her cheeks.
Like I said, I could reeeaaaalllllllyyyy learn to hate that guy. I walked out and right into Scalpel and SpeedCircut.
“Sueki. Did you see which way our guest went?”
“Intelligence wants to speak to her.”
“She wont talk, you know that.”
“Look, we’re just messengers. We’re supposed to be having dinner, but…” She handed over a datapad.
She had barely finished her thought when Eurydice walked by, grabbed the datapad, and crushed it beneath her foot. Then she stormed off.
“I guess we have our answer.” Scalpel said, staring down the hallway. “Look, SpeedCircut, are we getting dinner or what?”
The two of them left. Yeesh, you couldn’t separate those two with a crowbar. But I followed Eurydice. I’ll admit it: I wanted to know what that monster was up to.
“What do you want.”
“To play out this drama to the final act.” Time noise lifted up one claw. Clasped between it was a data card, like the ones all of us carried to verify our security ratings.
“Fool. I could go back to Moo and have you all killed.”
“I know you won’t do that.”
“Crazy Fool! You can’t know that. You don’t know the first thing about us.”
“I can and I do. Are you going? I know that you are.” She reached out and took the card.
“Best of luck.” Time Noise turned and vanished. “though I know you won’t need it. Too stubborn by half to need luck.”
She just stared at the spot where he had disappeared. The she turned and half-ran away.
Eurydice wasn’t in the compound the next morning, and we didn’t see her again for quite a long time. Time Noise laughed at the news of her escape. He laughed. Beth nearly had a coronary and he laughed. He’d always been like that. Laughing at what everyone else thought was deathly serious, like it was some kind of game.
I think that to him, that was what it all was.
God, if she had known what he would do to her, she would have kicked his tails halfway across Pangea.”
“But that wouldn’t happen for quite a long time.”
The Suezo suddenly snapped back to the present. “Wha…”
Time Noise stepped into the light shed by the small campfire. “I’m breaking my oath, Sueki. Well, not entirely.” He stared straight into Genki’s eyes. “You must leave here, now, or you will die. Your foes are coming…”
To be continued…
StolenSpark: I feel so lousy. This chapters a little cliché, unfortunately. I apologize to everyone who did it first. And also….
Eurydice: She better feel lousy. Do you have any idea what she’s planning to do to me????
StolenSpark: My story has taken on a life of it’s own.
Time Noise: Eurydice, That has to happen. It’s vital to history and besides, it’s the premise of her series. And besides, this chapter has to happen too.
Eurydice: (Mumbles something incoherent.) Hey! For your next chapter why don’t you include some of what happened between Time Noise and Beth?
Time Noise: *sweatdrops and blushes* PLEASE don’t.
Eurydice: heh, you knew this would happen (she smirks)
StolenSpark: Sorry, no can do. CP’s fanfiction site has a strict no hentai standard.
Time Noise: Thank god.
StolenSpark: You should be happy. This means I can’t reveal the details of your torrid little love life either.
Eurydice: (Swears under her breath).
StolenSpark: Here’s chapter two!!
Chapter Two: The Pack Present Day
“What do you mean, were all going to die?” Genki asked.
“I mean what I say. If you remain here, the pack will set upon you and you will die.” Time Noise said in an even voice.
“This.” Sueki said with extreme distaste. “Is the infamous Time Noise. After what he did to Ice Rock and Eurydice, I suggest you take everything he says with a grain of salt.”
“You said you had forgiven me for that.” Time Noise stared at Sueki with a similar look.
“Forgive but don’t forget!”
Time Noise ignored the comment and turned to look in Genki’s eyes. “I am on your side, Genki. And you will have to get out of here. Grey Wolf and his pack are coming and it wouldn’t be in your best interests to let him catch you here.”
“I’m not running from my little brother.” Tiger said, snarling.
“Face it. This is a slightly less than strategic position. It’s not your turn to die. You’ll be over run extremely quickly here. And they are coming. Quickly” Time Noise spoke calmly. “I know you will come.”
“How do we know we can trust you.” Holly asked.
Time Noise stared at the features that were an uncanny echo of Beth’s. “I want to see Moo dead. How do we know we can trust you, Hare? How do you know you can trust anybody? This way.” Time Noise quickly followed a small path into the woods.
With widely differing degrees of reluctance, the team followed.
“Spread out and be careful. These are obviously prey of merit. But leave my brother to me.”
The Carabos broke up into groups and began to scour the forest.
Back with the searchers… “Where are we going, chi.”
“Yeah, where are we going?” Genki added on.
“To the right place, at the right time.” Time Noise added. “Enter the Pack. Heads up.”
The combined Torpedo attacks of two of the Carabos sailed overhead.
The two Tiger/Naga’s howled their discovery to the chill of the night air. It wouldn’t be long until the rest of the pack showed up. No time to get away.
Pixie and Big Blue quickly dispatched the underlings, but there was no point denying it, bigger trouble was on the way.
“We walked right into their path. Doesn’t this remind you of something, Time Noise?” Sueki yelled, his voice full of anger.
“SHUT UP. Just shut up Sueki. I wept when they died. They were friends.”
“Not close enough for you to save them!”
“It HAD to happen!”
“As interesting as it is to see how long monsters can hold a grudge, trouble’s coming.” Hare said, his ears twitching nervously.
“Grey Wolf.” Time Noise stated blandly. No. Not quite. A touch of a smirk played around his mouth.
Three more underlings attacked. They were repelled by the attacks, but not destroyed.
“Stand down.” A voice spoke quietly. They did. They half ran away, to be precise.
A cold wind whipped through the trees.
Grey Wolf stepped out into the clearing. In the moonlight his fur shone.
Tiger stepped forward. “Brother…”
Tiger was knocked back by a cold bullet.
“First rule of the hunt. Never hesitate.”
Tiger sprung up and tackled his brother. Their battle began in earnest.
Mocchi hid behind Genki’s legs, terrified. The air was full of light from various attacks. A frosty chill hung in the air.
Genki stared. Then suddenly he ran forward. “STOP IT!!!”
“Genki!” Holly yelled.
Genki stood right between them. “The two of you are BROTHERS! Knock it off!”
The two Tigers charged.
“I TOLD YOU TO STOP IT!” A bright flash emanated from Genki’s hands. Both monsters were tossed back several meters. Tiger jumped up and ran forward.
“Get out of the way!” Tiger pushed Genki out of the way and unleashed a blizzard attack.
Grey Wolf did the same. Both attacks swirled through the air.
Genki wasn’t completely out of the way.
It was so cold…
Genki woke up. Frost covered the earth, and icicles hung on the trees. You could see your breath hanging in the air.
Tiger and Grey Wolf were both unconscious. Holly and the others had gotten a small fire burning, and were clustered around it.
“Don’t worry. They’ll both be fine, once they wake up. Which won’t be for some time. And no baddies will show up for awhile, as the remainder of his pack is reporting his death to Moo as we speak. Naga will know the truth, but hey! Now he controls the land of four Generals. The bastard’s the same as he ever was...” Time Noise said quietly. “And I am led to believe that Sueki was telling a story…
Sueki sneered at him, but started his story where he left off…
We didn’t see her again for months. But one did occasionally get a rumor from some traveler about being saved in the forest by a couple of monsters, one of whom matched her description… but those stories were like the wind, and no one could say where she was for long. We let her go... It was the right thing to do.
Moo gathered disenchanted monsters from the burned out cities and grew stronger.
Kawrea sheltered refugees from the civil wars and tyrants that sprung up during the disasters.
Moo gathered hardened monsters from these places and grew stronger.
What ever passed for normal in those times continued. Until we got a letter. Encrypted, on what we thought were long dead channels.
We scanned every channel all the time. If anyone else out there had managed to hold part of Civilization alive, we wanted to hear about it. We couldn’t stand thinking that the only ones who had born out the disasters without becoming savages were us and the military. But we never picked up anyone else.
SpeedCircut decrypted it. The Message:
Finally found a transmitter that works. A friend of mine and I have left Moo.
Couldn’t turn you in. But you’re probably doomed anyway. Large fighting force accumulating North of your position. Be wary. We’ll be on their tails.
Don’t be Fools. Eurydice.
What appeared next was a incredible collection of files. Reports to the highers up in Moo’s army, troop movements, lists of the major generals, their zones of control, and psych profiles.
In short, we owed her big time.
It was true. Maybe she wasn’t the one who had let it slip but the army was still coming. We weren’t a military base. I’ve said that before. We had a guard, but they were more like a combined police force/disaster relief than an army. They could deal with about four squadrons, on a good day.
Factor in the Monsters who had active combat training- maybe about 20, 30, 40 perhaps, depending on how you described combat-ready.
Monsters in total? Maybe about 150.
Incoming army? Big problems. Ours was one of the few areas that still bothered to fight Moo. Most people just tried to stay out of the way.
Wise. At least Moo HIMSELF wasn’t coming.
Defenses? Force field. A few cannons. Nothing that would hold up.
Beth groaned. “No way we could hold out against this. No military around us that would be willing to help. We’re going to die.”
“No, you’re not. Well, not for awhile anyway. We’ll be fine.” Time Noise gently placed his hand on Beth’s shoulder. She smiled gently.
Beth had the worst taste in men as anybody I’d ever met.
The next day…”
“There was something else. Something important.” Time Noise interrupted.
“What did I leave out?”
“You wouldn’t know, you weren’t there and we didn’t tell you. But it was important. The Phoenixes, and Moo are not ordinary monsters. There’s something about them even we don’t understand.
We stayed in the labs that night.”
“Why were you and Beth in the labs, alone, so late at night?” Sueki said, teasing.
“Will you shut up and let me tell my story? Anyways…
“The phoenixes won’t be ready for this battle.”
“No, it won’t.”
“Is that the sound of Time Noise finally telling me something about the future?” She asked, joking.
“That is the sound of Time Noise agreeing with Beth’s statement of fact.”
“Nope. Something’s up with you. I can tell.”
“Well…Things are going to turn out in the long run. That’s all.”
“It must be nice knowing for sure what’s going to happen.”
“I would never wish it on you.”
“Why not?” She asked, pulling herself onto a console.
“I know who’s going to die, why and when. And know how totally necessary those hopeless deaths will be.”
“Am I going to die?” She asked, staring into my eyes.
“You’re mortal.” I placed one arm around her.
“Yeah.” She said quietly.
She would die of a fever in her 40th year.
Suddenly the computers blared. Data streamed as three files were modified, streamlined, added to.
Three files of destiny.
I don’t know who did it. Honest. I knew they would, but THEY remained a mystery.
I knew what consequences it would have.
And you know what the three files were. Who they were.
Beth stared forward in shock.
“The three Phoenixes will be ready for the next fight. It would be wise to take the other two someplace else, incase Moo gets the upper hand here. And whatever you chose to call that was merely someone trying to refine our designs: With much success.” That’s what needed to be said. The two Phoenixes we moved: Blue Phoenix and Cinder Bird. They’ll show up eventually.
No Sueki. I will not tell you where, when or why.
“Never tell the future, but always ready to give a hint. I like a man who can bend the rules.” She said, smiling.
The next morning Moo’s army appeared on the horizon.”